PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Flowers wasn't back in the Braves' starting lineup Friday night against the Phillies, but he was a welcomed presence in the team's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.The Braves activated Flowers off the disabled list Friday, and the veteran catcher will return to action this weekend for the
PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Flowers wasn't back in the Braves' starting lineup Friday night against the Phillies, but he was a welcomed presence in the team's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.
The Braves activated Flowers off the disabled list Friday, and the veteran catcher will return to action this weekend for the first time since straining his left oblique on March 29.
Atlanta also recalled right-handed reliever Chase Whitley from Triple-A Gwinnett. To make room for Flowers and Whitley, the Braves optioned pitcher Matt Wisler to Gwinnett and designated Carlos Perez for assignment.
Flowers played in three Minor League rehab games this week and said he felt "no pain" in the oblique at the plate or behind it.
"I really haven't felt pain in it in two weeks," Flowers said. "It was a matter of upping the intensity and kind of testing it day by day in the progression scheme. Never got any pain out of it again for a couple weeks now. It's been 100 percent."
Flowers, who had a .281/.378/.445 slash line in 99 games last season, sustained the injury while taking a swing in his first at-bat of the season less than a month ago. He said his recovery went quicker than initially expected.
"I really didn't know from personal experience, never having [this injury]," he said. "But what I was told, is that it'd be longer than what it ended up being. They kind of had certain thresholds we needed to test and all of those we were able to test sooner than they thought. That allows to progress a little faster."
His return will allow the Braves to go back to their platoon of Flowers and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Suzuki started 14 of the Braves' first 24 games this season, and he entered Friday's series opener hitting .311 with four homers, 12 RBIs and a .906 OPS.
"It's good to have [Flowers'] veteran presence and hopefully have him and Zuk back to doing what they did last year," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Lane Adams chooses free agency
Outfielder Lane Adams, whom the Braves designated for assignment last week, chose to become a free agent rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Gwinnett, the team said Friday.
Adams, 28, hit .235 with a .793 OPS in 17 at-bats for the Braves this season. He had a slash line of .275/.339/.468 in 109 at-bats last season over 85 games, often as a pinch-hitter or late-game defensive replacement.
Pache goes deep in Minors
Cristian Pache, ranked the No. 9 prospect in the Braves organization by MLB Pipeline, hit his first professional home run on Thursday.
The 19-year-old center fielder clubbed a tworun homer for Class-A Advanced Florida in a win over Lakeland. Pache ended the game with three hits and three RBIs.
Pache began his professional career during the 2016 season in rookie ball and had 770 Minor League at-bats before Thursday's game when he homered.
Pache is hitting .291 with a .717 OPS through 21 games this season.
Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.